Victor Goosens, Team LiquidSAP has today announced its entrance into esports via a sponsorship deal with European organisation Team Liquid.This sponsorship of Team Liquid marks the first collaboration of SAP with a professional esports organisation, and notably a three year agreement has been signed. As official innovation partner, SAP will work with Team Liquid on ‘co-developing software based on in-game data’, which is intended to help Team Liquid better analyse performance and ‘achieve greater precision in areas like team and player performance and scouting new talent’.SAP has been around since 1972. The German company boasts customers in over 180 countries and had a reported revenue of €22bn (£15.5bn) in 2016. They are already well versed in sporting partnerships, and maintain them with the likes of the City Group, Bayern Munich, the NBA, McLaren, the NHL, the New York Yankees and many more. SAP, unsurprisingly, has a multitude of services and tools but it’s the SAP HANA® platform which will serve as the core technology for co-development for the Liquid partnership. Additional components such as SAP®Cloud Platform, the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system as well as the Internet of Things (IoT), predictive and machine learning functionalities will be evaluated as part of the co-innovation process. Performance tracking is of course as key in esports as any other competitive pursuit, and SAP is looking to participate as a global and sustainable player in the esports ecosystem.Stefan Ries, Chief Human Resources Officer, SAP commented: “After deciding to become a sponsor in the field of esports, SAP took time to observe and analyze the market and its ecosystem before finally deciding to partner with Team Liquid – one of the most successful teams in the business.“For SAP, esports opens us up to a tech-savvy and highly skilled young audience and potential new talent for SAP. As a global, innovative and forward-looking technology company, SAP provides a high brand fit to the esports ecosystem.”“There is a strong demand for meaningful data and analytics software in esports,” said Victor Goossens, co-CEO, Team Liquid. “For Team Liquid, competitive performance is key – and smart technology and data give us the best possible tools to analyze and improve. As a technology company at the cutting edge of innovation and with sponsorship experience across sports and entertainment, SAP is the perfect partner to collaborate with Team Liquid to create tools and solutions to fuel our competitive journey.”Lars Lamadé, Head of Sponsorships, Europe & Asia, SAP added: “Esports is a highly interesting field for SAP. With a team sponsorship, SAP will be able to activate its full potential by working closely together with Team Liquid to understand their needs and apply innovative technology solutions to address them.“SAP as an innovation-driven company is interested in esports as a 100% digital sport with a high speed of development. The partnership with Team Liquid, with a true and authentic co-innovation mind-set at its core, will become a great use case for SAP technology.”Esports Insider says: This is the biggest entrance in esports in some time. SAP is a huge company and this is a massive boost to both Team Liquid, and the industry at large. SAP’s tools and services are well regarded and used by some of the top sporting organisations in the world (the NBA, Bayern Munich, the NHL, McLaren etc.) and so Liquid are sure to reap some rewards from this arrangement.